Lawmakers query whether or not Amazon executives, together with Jeff Bezos, misled Congress.

Lawmakers question whether Amazon executives, including Jeff Bezos, misled Congress.

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of lawmakers pressed Amazon’s chief government on Monday to reply to allegations that its executives supplied a congressional inquiry with false solutions to questions on its house-brand merchandise.

Amazon executives, together with its founder, Jeff Bezos, advised lawmakers that the corporate didn’t enable workers to take a look at information from single sellers on its web site when it deliberate for and developed its personal merchandise. However Mr. Bezos advised lawmakers he couldn’t assure the coverage hadn’t been violated in some unspecified time in the future. Executives additionally advised the Home Judiciary Committee that the corporate didn’t purposefully give its house-brand merchandise an edge in search outcomes.

Final week, Reuters reported that Amazon had strategically copied merchandise from third-party retailers whereas rising its enterprise in India. One other publication, The Markup, reported a day later that the corporate’s house-brand merchandise ranked larger than rivals offered by retailers, even when the third-party merchandise had higher scores.

“At finest, this reporting confirms that Amazon’s representatives misled the committee,” stated the group of 5 lawmakers. “At worst, it demonstrates that they might have lied to Congress in potential violation of federal felony legislation.”

Within the letter, the lawmakers stated they had been contemplating referring the matter to the Justice Division for a possible felony investigation. Their exchanges with Amazon got here as a part of an extended investigation into the market energy of the nation’s largest tech corporations.

“Amazon and its executives didn’t mislead the committee, and we’ve denied and sought to appropriate the report on the incorrect media articles in query,” stated Brooke Oberwetter, an Amazon spokeswoman.

She stated that the corporate had a coverage towards utilizing information from particular person retailers in constructing house-brand merchandise and that Amazon’s search outcomes function “the gadgets prospects will need to buy, no matter whether or not they’re supplied by Amazon or one among our promoting companions.”

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